Archive for October, 2009
When I was growing up my mom always kept horses, so I was accustomed to the stable atmosphere. Although my mom owned many horses throughout my childhood, my favorite was Denero. From the time I was about three years old I would go to the barn with my mom a few times a week to ride Denero, feed him, and give him his equine vitamins.
One of the best memories I have was going on long trail rides through northern California. Fortunately for me, Denero was a gentle horse and didn’t have a propensity to buck or leave the trail like many of the other horses. Naturally, I was devastated when we moved further north and were forced to sell Denero, but we still keep his portraits around the house to maintain his memory.
The question has been asked so I will do my best to answer. I am no expert when it comes to building things. I have tried my hand at tables, benches, cabinets and gates. Those projects turned out okay but far from professional. They did do the job they were built for but, I did learn a few things along the way.
To begin with, you need to know exactly how you want your barn built. Will it be a Pole Barn, all open inside; will it be built with a hay loft as a second upper floor or just on one or both sides; will it have stalls to board horses and cattle or will it store farm equipment? In other words, you will need a floor plan or blueprint. Are you building this yourself or hiring a contractor?
If you are hiring a contractor, he/she can help you determine exactly what you will need in the form of materials like posts, screws, bolts, nails, hammers, drills, saws and etc. The right kind of lumber makes a big difference. It is, of course, your preference on what type you use but do make sure it can withstand the weather and if it is treated or not. They will also be able to help you with the type of roofing materials you will need.
One of the best ways to decide what you want is to look around your neighborhood. Look at your neighbors barns and decide what layout you like. Look through farm magazines and online to see if anything catches your eye. Visit your neighbors and see how functional their barn is and if it will meet your farm needs. Then the next thing is to jot down your thoughts on what you like and dislike. This will help you determine what you will need in order to have a fully functional barn for your farm.
When thinking about the layout; think about how you will use the barn. For example; we have 5 stall on one side of the barn and 4 on the other. The south side with 4 stalls also has a head shoot. That side of the barn is set up for sorting and loading livestock, whether it be cattle or horses and on the outside is a catch pen. The north side with a feed room, where we store our livestock feed, vitamins and supplements and 5 stalls is used for our horses that we put up every evening and if needed we will use these stalls for the bulls in the leasing/breeding season. It, also, has a sorting corral outside. Our stalls in the center of the barn are directly across from the other so we can run the horses straight through the barn to their pasture. It makes it easy to move them if we need to. Above the 5 stalls we have a hay loft and it is easy to feed the horses hay in the winter. The rest of the barn is open to the roof for storing big hay bales, farm equipment and whatever we need to keep out of the weather. In the front center of the barn up by the head shoot is our tack room with saddles, harnesses and all other tack close at hand. For us, it works quite well but, even now we can think of things that we could have done differently.
So, all in all, you really just need to know what you want, talk to your neighbors and ask to see their set ups, check out magazines and online, speak with contractors and carpenters on what they would suggest as to their preferences for the materials and then go from there. Then if you are ready to start your project, grab your wallet and go for it.
Photo is from Tri-County Barns. distributor of Barnmaster Barns, Inc. in Texas.
Isn’t this beautiful? Winter is just around the corner, are you ready? I’m not ready for the cold and snow but I do believe I am ready for a break. As much as I love and enjoy my gardening, I am ready to settle down to a little rest.
I was dissappointed with my garden harvest this year, we had way too much rain in the Spring, and three plantings later my garden began to grow. I had tomatoes early and was really looking forward to a good crop, well that was a flop. After August, with the weather being so cool, the plants lacked the heat they needed to produce. My bush and pole beans done well for a fews weeks and then they quit producing. The squash and zucchini did not do well at all and my peppers only produced half of what they did last year. Since September we have had below normal temps and my 2nd (Fall) planting was doing well until it decided to fr0st last week. Now we are done.
I was getting frustrated at worrying all the time if my plants would produce and what I could do to save them. Now all I have is about seven tomato plants that I saved and put in my greenhouse for the winter. I am hoping that I can, at least, have a few tomatoes throughout the winter months. Cleaning the leftover debris of vines and old plants out of the garden now take precedence in getting everything ready for Spring.
Now that we are at the end of gardening season, the garden tool caddy, tool organizer, tools, lawn mower, wagon, tomato stakes and bean and cucumber supp0rts will all be put away. I keep out only the few tools that I need for my flowering plants and tomatoes. All of these plants are in pots so my small hand tools are all that is needed and a bucket for watering.
Each year I learn something new to try in my garden. Last year I started my own herb garden and it has worked out really well. Being diabetic I have learned a whole new way to cook with herbs and growing my own is inexpensive and healthy. This year, I mastered growing potatoes in tiers of tires. That was great! They did well.
I kept a journal this year of all that I planted, what location, the dates they were planted, what fertilizer, if any, was used, and how they produced. Also, I kept track of any problems, such as changes in the leaves color and growth period. This will help me next year in planning my new garden.
Looking forward to a new planting season after a much needed rest.
I was looking through the December issue of “Cowboys and Indians” the other day and came across an article that just surprised me. It was about a steam cleaner for hay bales. Have you heard of this? Is this considered a farm accessory or is it farm equipment?
It is called the Haygain Steamer made by Jiffy Steamer Equine along with British partners at Propress, Ltd. I had never heard of such a machine. When I first saw the photo, I thought I was looking at a way to haul bales in your vehicle, such as a car, without the mess. Was I surprised when I read what it really was.
I, also, did not realize that one in six horses have allergies to the dust and fungi in hay. I guess that is something that is well over looked where animals are concerned. Even though I have a Jack Russell (dog) that suffers every Spring with allergies and has t0 have an allergy shot, I still did not consider the larger animals as being susceptible to allergies but, it is not so uncommon.
According to the article, the Haygain has found a way to eliminate the millions of spores found in hay and purifies it with steam. This machines improves the hygiene quality without leaching the nutritive content and creating a sweet – smelling feed that the animals really enjoy. Quite a breakthrough.
If you would like to read more and see a photo of this new product, check out the December issue of “Cowboys and Indians” now available.
Fall has arrived and we are preparing for the winter months ahead. Now is the time to clean and winterize your tools and equipment. One thing that I have learned is to not put tools away with dirt on them. I never considered that a problem until it was pointed out to me several years ago.
I didn’t realize that I could prevent my tools from rusting over the winter months just by doing about 30 minutes of cleaning and maintaining in the fall.
For garden tools, shovels, pitchforks and the like, wipe them clean of dirt and mud and then wipe them down with vegetable oil or cooking spray. This will keep them clean and rust free. Waterers and feeders that are not in use during the winter months need cleaned thoroughly, dried and put away in storage until needed. The best way to clean these are to wash them down, if not able to immerse them, with hot sudsy bleach water and then rinse well and let air dry.
The same pertains to bridles, saddles, harness and reins for your horses. If not maintained during the times of non-use, they can grow mold and become dry and brittle. It is advisable to clean them well and use a product like Leather Therapy to keep them in good shape at least every six months. Depending on use of your equipment, you may need to do it more or less.
This process goes for just about anything that you store for several months at a time. Just like my Lawnmower tractor and wagon that I pull behind it to do yard work. I clean them, wash them down and then store them in the shed or barn out of the weather. This keeps them in good condition and ready for use come Spring. This also applies to heavy farm equipment such as tractors, hay wagons , hay racks, combines, disks, brush hogs and etc.
Just a little maintenance in the Fall saves a lot of work in the Spring.
If you do not live on a farm or if you have never been on a farm this question is not that silly. I was always told that no question is silly if you do not know the answer. To someone like me, the first time I was asked this, I was surprised. It seemed so funny that y0u wouldn’t know what is around a barn.
I guess the first thing most of us would say is animals. Whether it be horses, cattle, sheep, goats, pigs or whatever livestock we raise. Then, of course, there is the feed, horse feed, cattle feed, salt blocks, minerals and cat and dog food. Also, there is the hay for the animals to eat and straw for their bedding.
Then the next thing would be the equipment, such as, tractors, wagons, combines, disks and maybe plows.
Of course, there would be all the neccessities of farm life such as fencing supplies, shovels, rakes, pitchforks, manure spreaders, buckets, log chains, hammers, wrenches and all other kinds of tools.
It may be surprising what you find out around the barn. You might find lumber, where someone has been building something or horse shoes lying on the ground where they have just finished shoeing a horse, halters and bridles hanging and saddles on saddle racks in a tack room. There will be lead ropes and sorting sticks and sorting paddles used for herding the livestock. You might even find a skull or two of bulls or deer.
There is just no telling what you may find. I do know that a farm is a great place for a treasure hunt.
Any how, these are just a few of the things you will find on a farm, out around the barn.
Autumn is a busy time for farmers. While the arduous task of planting is but a distant memory, harvesting the fruits of one’s label can be equally taxing. I like to spend as much time outdoors as possible before the harsh winter winds and blowing snow relegate me to a few months of indoor living. In addition to the harvest, fall is also the optimal time to do last-minute household repairs and home-improvement projects.
Whether I’m out working in the garden, cleaning the rain gutters or just fixing up a dilapidated board in the front porch, I like to keep my tools close at hand. It saves me countless trips to the garage, which in turn gives me more time to get crucial chores accomplished. A portable tool organizer is easily one of the most valuable garden accessories, as it can be attached to a handcart and pushed along like a portable work bench.